Paige Bloom’s prekindergarten class produced their own original show called The Stolen Crown and held 13 performances from May 9-13. Each student had a role in the production, including: actor, stage manager, director, marketer, lighting engineer, set designer, costumer, sound technician, and concessions manager. Families, faculty, staff, and other Lower School classes were all invited to attend the shows throughout the week.
“While my students were playing during Center Exploration, I noticed they seemed to really want to put on a show,” said Ms. Bloom. “They were moving chairs in rows for an audience, setting up a stage, and drawing their own tickets. So I thought we could involve other members of the MFS community to get some help, and have our own big show!”
Fourth graders from Sarah Rotter’s class helped write the script for The Stolen Crown, following the oral narrative about the characters, plot, and setting from the prekindergarteners. The tale included great details of a king, two sparring princesses, a magical wizard, a dungeon, and the crown, all set in New Jersey.
To understand the behind-the-scenes side of theatrical work, Ms. Bloom’s class toured the Auditorium with Drama Director and Theatre Instructor Angela Wertner. The students explored the stage, including the areas underneath that are hidden from the audience, viewed the sets of previous Middle and Upper School performances, and learned about lighting and curtains thanks to a demonstration from Mrs. Wertner.
Afterwards, the prekindergarten class began to design the sets and delegate production responsibilities.
“Our class loves to vote on everything,” said Ms. Bloom. “To decide on the artwork for the sets, each student drew their ideas and then the class voted on which design would be used as the model for the show. We also created a list of the roles that we needed to fill for a successful performance, and the class voted to decide who would do what.”
To make sure the 13 shows were sold out, the prekindergarteners devised a targeted marketing campaign. The students asked Ms. Bloom to help them create a poster to advertise the show.
“We wanted to hang up our signs around the Lower School so people would know to see The Stolen Crown,” said a prekindergarten student. “We also put our posters in teacher mailboxes. We told Ms. Bloom to take a picture of us in our costumes in the castle so people would know what the show was about.”
After numerous rehearsals, the prekindergarten class was well-prepared for its sold-out performances, as each Lower School class attended a show, along with many family members and MFS staff.
When asked which part of producing The Stolen Crown was their favorite, the prekindergarteners had many enthusiastic responses:
- “Making the sets was fun!”
- “I really liked performing for my mommy and daddy.”
- “Getting locked in the dungeon was my favorite!”